London Lions overcame a stubborn Caledonia Gladiators side to maintain their unbeaten start to season with a 95-87 victory on Wednesday evening.
It was the Sam Dekker show once again, as he took conteol of a tight game to finish with his second 30-point game of the season, adding eight rebounds. Tomislav Kubcic came off the bench to add six rebounds to go with his 19 points, while captain Ovie Soko finished with 14 points and six boards.
Gladiators were led by 23 points from Darian Adams, along with 22 points, six assists and as many rebounds from David Sloan
Sloan opened the scoring for the visitors from outside the arc, and despite scores from Koufos and Soki the visitors led 8-5 inside three minutes of action.
Soko's three-point play kept Lions in touch and his put-back off Kareem Queeley's assist excited the crowd before Nelson's triple tied the game at 26 with 2:11 on the clock. But it was the newly-renamed Gladiators who then stepped up as they scored the next seven points before Devon Van Oostrum hit a buzzer beating triple to cut the visitors' lead to 26-22 going into the first break.
Zubcic saw his triple rattle out only to see Onwas' hit a long shot to take the visitors' lead out to seven at the start of the second period.
Zubcic got a trey to drop but the visitors wouldn't lie down, forcing Ryan Schmidt to call a timeout with 6:57 on the clock and his team trailing 35-29.
A lovely floater from Nelson but Gladiators continued to hit Lions in transition before a Dekker dunk followed by a Koufos and-one livened up the hosts and Zubcicthe deficit to four with 3:29 on the clock.
Dekker made it a one-point game with a pair at the foul line before he drove to the basket and hammered the ball down to make it a tied game before a sublime Vojtech Hruban .pass set Soko up to send Lions into the locker room 49-47 ahead.
Ali Fraser and Soko exchanged baskets to open the second half , but it was Dekker's quickfire four points that gave the hosts their first lead of the game three minutes into the second half.
Caledonia hit back with a good run which Zubcic ended with a big trey before Queeley hit a pair at the line to reduce the arrears to 68-66 heading into the final minute of the third period and Josh Sharma made it a one point game with what appeared to be the final shot of the quarter.
But Zubcic was judged to have fouled Adams as he shot a triple and the American guard his two-from-three at the charity stripe to give the visitors a 71-68 lead at the final break.
A baseline Zubcic drive made it a one-point game with the first fourth period score and Sharma's three-point play tied the game 90 seconds in.
Zubric continued to dominate inside the offensive paint but Sloan buried a triple to put his side up by three and force a Lions' timeout with 4:27 on the clock.
A perfect three-point play set up for Van Oostrum tied the game at 82 with 3:33 left before Dekker drove to the basket and converted the three-point play to give Lions a lead they would never lose again.
Dekker hit a triple and then wormed his way through the paint for a lay-up before being hacked on the way to the basket to hit both uncontested foul shots to make it a five point game with a minute left, and there was no coming back for the Scots before Kubcic wrapped it up with a dunk.